Irish Premiership: Cliftonville manager Barry Gray demands consistent work rate

Joe Gormley scored twice as Cliftonville beat Institute 3-0 last time out
Joe Gormley scored twice as Cliftonville beat Institute 3-0 last time out

Cliftonville manager Barry Gray has called on his players to put in the necessary work rate on a consistent basis to accompany their talent.

The Reds lie on eight points after two wins, two draws and two defeats from their opening fixtures ahead of their trip to Warrenpoint Town on Saturday.

"We can't think that because we've got good players that it's enough to show up against any opposition," said Gray.

"In this league ability isn't enough. It needs work rate and attitude.

"The consistency starts with how we perform in terms of our attitude and work rate on the field.

"It's a challenging league and if you look at all the top sides that have been successful trophy-wise over the last number of seasons the one trend that runs through them is extreme hard work.

"Every week...every fixture...that's something we need to learn quickly and maybe stop living off the Cliftonville name."

Gray return 'extra motivation'

The north Belfast club will hope to build on last week's 3-0 Premiership home win over Institute when they travel to Milltown to face Gray's former club.

"They (Warrenpoint) are finding it very tough at the minute but they will bounce back at some stage - I'm just hoping it's not going to be against us.

"We will need to be more professional and more focused than ever to pick up another three points.

"Truth be told it's not my job to worry about Warrenpoint any more. No doubt they will make it very difficult and it's probably an extra motivation because it's me coming with my team."

Basement side 'Point have yet to pick up a point and their manager Stephen McDonnell wants "the big characters in our dressing room to galvanise each other and help get us out of the situation we are in".

Leaders Linfield host struggling Swifts

Elsewhere leaders Linfield host a Dungannon Swifts side who are still looking for their first win of the league campaign and lost manager Rodney McAree to Coleraine on Friday.

"We very rarely get it easy against Dungannon, especially at Windsor," observed Linfield manager David Healy.

"They come and mix up their formation - they want to come and play and they want to come and enjoy it.

"The challenge for us is to add to what we've done so far - try and improve and turn up with the same attitude."

Ards entertain second-placed Coleraine, who will be playing their first top-flight match since the departure of former boss Oran Kearney to St Mirren.

Crusaders lost 3-0 to the Bannsiders last time out in the league but will hope to return to something like their best form in their encounter against Newry City at Seaview.

Institute defend their unbeaten home start to the season against Glenavon at the Brandywell.

Danske Bank Premiership - Saturday 15 September - 15:00 BST
Coverage on Radio Ulster's Sportsound and text commentary on the BBC Sport website
CrusadersvNewry City
LinfieldvDungannon Swifts
Warrenpoint Town vCliftonville

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